Holmfirth Mill, Holmfirth

This page is a bare-bones entry for a specific location marked on an old map. More detailed information may eventually be added...


  • location: Mill Hill, Holmfirth
  • status: no longer exists
  • category: woollen mill

Holmfirth Flood of 1852

Extract from The Holmfirth Flood (1910):

The Holmfirth Mill sustained very serious damage. A little above the mill, and between that building and the stable, stood two small cottages, one of which was occupied by Sidney Hartley (engineer to Messrs. Nathan Thewlis & Co,), and his wife and eight children, and the other by Richard Shackleton, joiner, and his wife and three children. Both these families, except four members, and the cottages also, were swept away. Mrs. Hartley had heard that the Bilberry Reservoir might burst, and she put her eight children to bed and waited up in the hope that if the catastrophe did occur she would receive sufficient warning to ensure the escape of herself and family. She sat up until one o’clock, and then becoming more hopeful went to bed; but soon afterwards the flood was upon them, and all were drowned except three of her children and an apprentice boy named John Dearnley. When the devoted mother found that they could not escape she held her infant child above the water outside the window, hoping to save it, but, finding the front of the house giving way, she bade her family farewell, and was swept away by the foaming torrent. Three of her little daughters and the apprentice lad caught hold of the rafters in the roof and clung to them, and when the flood began to abate, the lad got out upon the roof and helped the girls out also, and there they remained for about twenty minutes. The plucky lad afterwards carried them one by one into the portion of Holmfirth Mill yard which was out of the way of the flood, where, in their nightclothes, standing up to their knees in mud, they were exposed to the inclemency of the night air and to the falling rain..